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Week in review – 3/2/12: Makeover for Harborplace

Makeover for Harborplace

Officials hope that by Memorial Day weekend, Baltimore’s renovated Light Street Pavilion will be 95 percent occupied, returning it to its 2007 level, said Christopher Schardt, senior general manager of Harborplace & The Gallery. Schardt called the recent work at the pavilion the most extensive since it opened three decades ago.

Exxon quorum questioned

The Court of Special Appeals should vacate its decision striking down a significant portion of the $150 million in damages awarded to 88 Jacksonville households from Exxon Mobil Corp., according to a motion filed by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Betting website shut down

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore on Tuesday unsealed an indictment against online sports betting site Bodog.com and its principals, charging them with conspiracy to launder money and running an illegal sports gambling business.

Death penalty rejected

A week after convicting inmate Lee E. Stephens of first-degree murder in the stabbing of a prison guard, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury on Wednesday recommended a sentence of life without parole. The jury could have recommended execution.

P3 policy proposed

Legislation creating rules for public-private partnerships in Maryland would create a predictable and transparent process for awarding such contracts, according to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. He, Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley and a dozen supporters testified before House of Delegates committee members on the merits of a bill to govern these partnerships.

Baltimore’s image

The next head of the Baltimore Development Corp. will have to move the city’s economic base forward amid challenges that include fiscal, social and image problems that have plagued Baltimore for decades, said M.J. “Jay” Brodie, whose resignation from the position, pending his replacement, was announced Friday. Brodie said reassuring officials from companies considering moving to Baltimore about schools and public safety is an important part of the job.

College funding change

If the University System of Maryland moves to a performance-based funding model for its institutions, college presidents warn, students’ completion rates should not be sole indicator of a school’s success. Some suggested that admissions be the basis of any formula.

3 get $70K for beating

The Baltimore Board of Estimates on Wednesday signed off on a $70,000 settlement with three people, one a 2-year-old boy, who were injured by a city police officer during a 2009 arrest. The three had ducked onto the porch of a vacant house to get out of the rain; the house had a no trespassing sign on it. A police officer ordered them to leave. According to the men, who suffered cuts and injured ribs, they were grabbed, slapped, hit with nightsticks and pepper-sprayed; the child was treated for cuts. Charges against the one man who was arrested were nolle prossed.

Md. inmates sue prisons

A group of deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates have filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and others, claiming they are regularly denied access to specialized phones and technology that allow them to contact friends and family.

Cancer research funding

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland asked lawmakers Tuesday to increase funding for a program that allocates money for conducting cancer research and preventing tobacco use. Under Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget plan, the Cigarette Restitution Fund would receive $2 million in fiscal 2013, the same amount as this year.

Private-mediator privilege

Private mediation proceedings would have the same guarantee of confidentiality as communications with an attorney or a physician, under the proposed Maryland Mediation Confidentiality Act, which the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee considered Tuesday.